ELDERS (BISHOPS-PASTORS) SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY

 

There are some believers (and especially their "leaders") on this island who teach: "that the one and only head and shepherd of the local church is the God-called and Spirit-filled pastor, just as Jesus Christ is the Head and Chief Shepherd over the entire church;" (Bible Believers Baptist Church Constitution and By-Laws)

 

I believe that those of us believers who profess that the King James Bible (A.V. 1611) is our sole source and guide in all matters of faith and practice are obligated to search the Holy Scriptures to see if the above claim - [that a pastor is the one and only head of the local church and whether “pastoral authority” can substitute and replace our Lord Jesus Christ's authority in the local’ church] - is true.

 

            Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all   

                                  readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

 

 

            1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

 

 

            Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.


 

VERSES DEMONSTRATING THE SCRIPTURAL EXERCISE OF AUTHORITY

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ clearly stated our relationship as believers to one another and how his disciples were to exercise their authority:

 

Matthew 23: 8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

                       9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

                     10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.      

                     11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

                     12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

 

Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great

                            exercise authority upon them.

                      26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

                      27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

                      28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

Mark 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them;

                       and their great ones exercise authority upon them.

                 43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:

                 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.

                 45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

 Luke 22:25 And he said unto them, the kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.        

                  26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

 

            The apostles wrote about the authority of bishops-pastors-elders and the Scriptures clearly testify how they, the apostles, exercised their own authority:

 

Philippians 3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

                         17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample."

 

Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of

                          their conversation."

 

1 Thessalonians 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

                                  13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves."

 

Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:      

              7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine [shewing] uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

              8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be shamed, having no evil thing to say of you.


 

1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

 

1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall

                     be revealed:

                  2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

                  3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

                  4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away

                  5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you  be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth

                     the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

 

Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

 

Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

               28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers­, to feed the church of God, which

                     he hath purchased with his own blood.

 

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

 

1 Thessalonians 2:1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:

                                  2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye

                                     know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

                                  3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:

                                  4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

                                  5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:

 

1 Thessalonians 2:6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.

                                  7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

                                  8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls,

                                     because ye were dear unto us.

                                  9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we

                                      preached unto you the gospel of God.

                                10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly­ and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:

                                11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

                                12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

                                13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not

                                     as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

                                14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your

                                     own countrymen, even as they [have] off the Jews:


 

2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly,

                                      and not after the tradition which he received of us.

                                   7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;

 

The following verses clearly indicate that a pastor (elder, bishop) has some authority in the church.

 

VERSES NOT INDICATING WHAT KIND OF AUTHORITY

 

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that

                           they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

 

Hebrews 13:24 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.

 

1Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.       

 

1Thessalonians 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

                                 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.          

 

 

VERSES INDICATING WHAT KIND OF AUTHORITY

 

2 Corinthians 10:8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should

                             not be ashamed:

 

2 Corinthians 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for  by faith ye stand.

 

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

 

 

 

AN ELDER'S (PASTOR'S, BISHOP'S) "WORK"

 

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

                       13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

                       14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

                       15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

                       16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

 

1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

 

2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

 

2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

 

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

2 Timothy 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

                       24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

                       25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

 

Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

 

1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall

                      be revealed:

                  2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

                  3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

 

2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

                       15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

                       16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

                       17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.


 

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

 

Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

 

Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

              2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

              3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

              4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

 

Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

              6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

              7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

              8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

 

1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things

                       may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

THE DOCTRINE OF THE NICOLAITINES

 

Revelation 2:6 "But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitines, which I also hate."

 

Revelation 2:15 "So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitines, which thing I hate."

 

STRONG'S CONCORDANCE:  

 

#3531 = Nikolaites - from #3532 Adherant of Nicolaus (nicolaitane)

#3532 = Nikolaos - from #3534 & 2992 Victorious over the people (Nicolaus)

#3534 = Nikos - from #3529; a conquest (concr.) i.e. (by impl.) triumph: - victory

#2992 = laos, appar. a prim. word; a people; (in gen; thus differing from #1218 which denotes ones own populace): - people

 

THE BIBLE BELIEVER'S COMMENTARY SERIES by Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, Ph.D.

 

The Book of Revelation (pgs. 38 & 39)

 

            "The word 'Nicolaitane' is a Greek word that has not been translated. For example, the Greek word 'petra' means rock. (Our word 'petrified' comes from it). Now, if you translated 'petra', you would write 'rock'. But if you transliterated it, you would write 'petra'. That is, in transliteration, you take literally what it says in the language and transfer it to English letters. When you translate, you take the word and say what it means in the other language. We have this several times in the new 'Bibles". Instead of translating the word 'hades' as 'hell', they simply write 'hades', which is not a translation. 'Hades' is simply the Greek word spelled out with English letters: it has not been translated into English. In a translation, you tell what the word means: in transliteration, you just spell the word out in English letters instead of Greek letters.


 

'Nicolaitines' is not a translation, but a transliteration. To understand the word, you almost have to get a concordance and run down the Greek. (I very seldom refer to the Greek, if ever. It has been used time and time again to prove a lie, so I stick to the English which sticks to the truth. I only use the Greek to back up what the English says. Greek scholars use the Greek to prove that they are right, no matter what the English says).

 

 

Nicolaitines - 'Nikao' means to conquer. 'Laos' (Laity) means common, ordinary people. For example: we talk about 'clergy' and 'laity'. We talked about Methodist 'laymen'. Now the average Methodist doesn't know where the word comes from anymore. It comes out of the Book of Revelation. A 'layman' is a common, ordinary man. A distinction is made between 'clergy' and 'laity', but the Bible does not make this demarcation. Hence, the doctrine of the 'Nicolaitines' means the doctrine of how to conquer the common people!  The doctrine of the Nicolaitines is a doctrine set up whereby the clergy becomes a special priest-class in a special position, ruling the average ordinary Christian. Of course, this is a heresy and a pagan perversion of the Christian Bible.

 

In the word of God, every Christian is in the Body of Christ; every Christian is anointed. God is no respecter of persons, and the only difference between 'clergy' and 'laity', in the word of God, is that the ordinary, common, everyday Christian has not, perhaps been set apart for the full-time official position in the Body of Christ, as a leader. However, every Christian in the Body of Christ has been called to preach, called to witness, and called to work for the Lord Jesus Christ. God knows nothing about a 'ruling class' of people who rule the 'common people'. The only power that a bishop, or an elder, or a deacon has in the New Testament to rule is spiritual power.

 

This word 'Nicolaitines' doesn't mean to rule spiritually, it means to conquer. You are not supposed to conquer the common people, and get the upper hand, and 'lord it over them' (I Peter 5:1-4). You are supposed to lead them, guide them, and direct them. Your spiritual power as a bishop, deacon, elder, or minister is spiritual only. The 'doctrine of the Nicolaitines', then, is the doctrine that a certain class of Christians should conquer another class of Christians. It is a doctrine which God hates (see the text)."

 

Revelation 2:6 "But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitines, which I also hate."

 

Revelation 2:15 "So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitines, which thing I hate."

 

 


THE MEANING OF HERESY

 

"Heresy" is a Bible word (AV) and it is first found in connection with Bible-believing Christians (Acts 24:14). The idea behind "heresy" is that someone who professes to believe the Bible is using the Bible to prove or teach something that is not so (I Corinthians 11:19). To quote a well known Bible teacher: ". . . . . . every dissenting group of people from 100-1980 A.D. who believed the Bible (and did not knuckle down to the ecclesiastical powers of their day) were called "heretics" (Acts 24:14), for after all, that is the New Testament designation for a real believer." ..... "There are "heretics" and then there are heretics!” . . . . . . .  "The political unity of an ecclesiastical dictatorship was never in the mind of God when speaking of "unity" (I Peter 5: 1-5, Galatians 6: 1)."

 

AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (Noah Webster - 1828)

 

HERESY:

n    A fundamental error in religion, or an error of opinion respecting some fundamental doctrine of religion. But in countries where there is an established church, an opinion is deemed heresy  when it differs from that of the church. The Scriptures being the standard of faith, any opinion that is repugnant to its doctrines, is heresy but as men differ in the interpretation of Scripture, an opinion deemed heretical  by one body of Christians, may be deemed orthodox by another.

 

HERETIC:

n    A person under any religion, but particularly the Christian, who holds and teaches opinions repugnant to the established faith, or that which is made the standard of orthodoxy. In strictness, among Christians, a person who holds and avows religious opinions contrary to the doctrines of Scripture, the only rule of faith and practice.

 

1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

 

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,

                  even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

 

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

                   20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

                   21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do

                       such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

                   22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

                   23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

                   24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

                   25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

                   26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.


 

MAKING RIGHTEOUS JUDGEMENTS

 

            Contrary to our present corrupt culture and modern day Humanistic reasoning: Christians are supposed to make judgments about all things. And those judgments are to be based upon the Scriptures, not our subjective personal opinions or the opinions of others. The Bible clearly lays out certain parameters by which we Christians are to judge:

 

·        We are to judgeall things. 

·        We are to judge not according to appearance”.

·        We are to judge righteous judgment”.

·        We are to judge according to truth. (That is: according to the Bible)

·        We are to judge “ye what I say. (Everyone: including all pastors-elders-bishops)

·        We are to judge ourselves, so that “we should not be judged.

 

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

                    2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

 

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

 

Romans 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that

                       judgest doest the same things.

                   2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

                   3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?    

 

Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

 

Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

 

1 Corinthians 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

 

1 Corinthians 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.

                               4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

                               5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest

                                  the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

 

1 Corinthians 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

 

1 Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

                              13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

 

1 Corinthians 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

                              2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

                              3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

                              4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

                              5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

                              6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

                              7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not

                                 rather [suffer yourselves to] be defrauded?

                              8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that [your] brethren. 1Co 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

 

1 Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

 

1 Corinthians 11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?


 

1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

                                32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

 

2 Corinthians 8:16 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.

                              17 For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you.

                              18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;

                              19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of

                                   the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:

 

2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves

                                      by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

 

Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

 

Colossians 3:25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

 

James 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but

                      if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

                12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

 

In regards as to whether we are to be in subjection to Church (Christian) “leaders”

 

 Colossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

                          21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;

                          22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

                          23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

 

1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall

                      be revealed:

                  2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

                  3 Neither as being lords over [God's] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

                  4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

                  5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth

                     the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

 

1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all your things be done with charity.

                                15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and [that] they have addicted themselves to the

                                      ministry of the saints,)

                                16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with [us], and laboureth.

 

James 4:7   Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

 

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

 

MISCELLANEOUS VERSES

 

1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, [even] as unto babes in Christ.

                              2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able.

                              3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

 

1 Corinthians 5:1 It is reported commonly [that there is] fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one

                                 should have his father's wife.

                             2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

                             3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, [concerning] him that hath so done this deed,

                             4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

                             5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

                             6 Your glorying [is] not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

                             7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.


                             8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened [bread] of

                                sincerity and truth.

                             9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

                           10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

                           11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or

                                a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

                           12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

                           13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

 

1 Corinthians 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

 

1 Thessalonians 4:9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men].

                                  15 See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].

                                  16 Rejoice evermore.

 

Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

               28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he

                     hath purchased with his own blood.

               29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

               30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

               31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

 

WHO IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH (Local or otherwise)?


 

Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner:

                            this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

 

Mark 12:10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

 

Luke 20:17 And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?

 

Acts 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

 

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

 

Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

 

Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the  church: and he is the saviour of the body.

 

Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

 

Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

 

Colossians 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the

                              increase of God.

 

1Peter 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made

                     the head of the corner,

 

FINAL COMMENTS

 

I have endeavored to present as much Scripture as I can in order to throw as much light on the subject of “pastoral authority” without my comments. If after reading and studying all of the foregoing Scriptures a believer still ‘thinks’: "that the one and only head and shepherd of the local church is the God-called and Spirit-filled pastor, just as Jesus Christ is the Head and Chief Shepherd over the entire church;" I am afraid that there is nothing that I can do for him. In Acts Chapter 8, we are presented with a remarkable story which should serve as a dire warning to all those Christians who seek to displace the True Head of the church with a mere man:     
 
  
Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.                                                  

  6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

  7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame,

     were healed.

  8 And there was great joy in that city.                                                                                                             

  9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself

     was some great one:                                               

 10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.                                                                    

 11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.                           

 12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

 13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:                             

 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)                

 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.                                                           

 18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, offered them money,                                           

 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.                 

 20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

 21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.                             

 22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

 23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.                                            

 24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me. When Peter and John came

      to Samaria and laid their hands on these Samaritan believers they received the Holy Spirit 

 

Simon the Sorcerer (“believed also” - Acts 8:13) saw the power that the apostles had and in his heart he coveted that power. He didn’t understand the spiritual significance of that power, but through covetousness he desired it and thought he could buy it with money. He only wanted the gift of imparting the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands – that is he only wanted the power to be able to give believers the gift of the Holy Spirit. He didn’t want to replace the Lord Jesus Christ in His Church!                                                                             

 

Now if the apostle Peter vehemently condemned this man’s covetousness, how much more wicked is it then: when a man covets the Lord Jesus Christ’s rightful place in the church, local or otherwise? A pastor-bishop-elder, or any other man, who believes in his heart that (since he is “God-called” and “Spirit-filled”) he can take the place of Jesus Christ in His church is wicked. His heart is not right. He is in the bond of iniquity and needs to repent of his wickedness, that the thought of his heart might be forgiven. However, I perceive that this perverse heresy is not that easy to abandon or repudiate once it has been embraced.

 

The perverse belief that a saved sinner (“called”, “filled”, “anointed”, “spirit-led”) can take the place of the Lord Jesus Christ in His church ("that the one and only head and shepherd of the local church is the God-called and Spirit-filled pastor, just as Jesus Christ is the Head and Chief Shepherd over the entire church;") is the most damnable heresy that Satan has ever foisted on the Lord Jesus Christ’s church (especially so-called “Bible Believing” AV-KJB churches)! 

 

The Holy Bible teaches: 2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. God has said that there shall be false teachers that shall bring in damnable heresies. The Bible also is real clear as to why our God allows heresies to crop up in the church. 1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you God allows heresies in the church to “prove” His people, that they might choose between good and evil. It’s entirely up to the church to judge those false teachers (heretics) and their heresies and deal with them according to the Holy Scriptures. Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

 

It is not enough for us to profess with the mouth that “we believe the Bible (AV-KJB) to be God’s word with out error and is our sole rule of faith and practice”. Sincere Bible believers must also obey those same Scriptures. We must endeavor with our whole heart, and soul, and mind, to study the Scriptures in order that we might learn, from the mouth of God, what is the mind of Christ and strive to be more like Him, not replace Him in His church.

 

True Spiritual knowledge, understanding, discernment, and wisdom are given to believers by God. No amount of schooling and matriculation in Bible “subjects” can ever replace what the Holy Spirit gives to the believer who has a humble and believing heart.

 

Satan’s sin was that he coveted God’s Glory and tried to replace The Lord and overthrow Him. When a man, any man, tries to “share” God’s Glory by usurping the Lord Jesus Christ’s Headship in the church (local or otherwise) he is attempting to overthrow the Lord and replace Him. When a man, any man, covets the Lord Jesus Christ’s rightful place in the church, he is guilty of trying to steal God’s Glory. Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

 

The notion that a saved man, a so-called Bible believer, can take the place of our Lord and Saviour in His church is blasphemous and abominable. The perverse heart that will accept and embrace such a perverted teaching is so blind that it doesn’t even know that it is utterly reprobate. Psalms 148:13 “Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.”                                                        

 

To God be the Glory forever! Amen.

 

 

 

Yours for Christ and His word,

 

George H. Anderson Jr.